[plug] fetchmail

Cameron Patrick cameron at patrick.wattle.id.au
Wed Apr 7 17:23:06 WST 2004

smclevie at ozemail.com.au wrote:

| I'm under the impression I run 'fetchmail' to collect mail into
| mailboxes and run 'sendmail' to transfer any mail to the outside
| world.

Kind of.  An MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) such as sendmail or exim
accepts messages and makes sure they reach the correct destination.
That includes taking messages from local users and spitting them out
to the rest of the world, and accepting messages from the outside
world and delivering them to a local mailbox.  The latter is often
accomplished by feeding the messages to a separate MDA (Mail Delivery
Agent) such as procmail.  Now an MTA expects mail to be delivered
directly to it through SMTP, which is not going to happen if your
incoming mail is being handled by your ISP.  Fetchmail will collect
messages from a POP3 server or whatever and pass it onto an MTA.

There are simpler programmes, such as getmail, which take care of the
local delivery part by themselves, bypassing exim/sendmail/whatever.
This has the advantage that no MTA is required; but the disadvantage
that if you've already got an MTA set up for delivering local mail,
you need to repeat that configuration for getmail.  (In simple cases
this is a non-issue, but if you're doing funky things - like storing
your mailboxes in an unusual format or location - then it can be

| Exim is installed but not configured (I press option '5' in the
| installation process) Do I need this configured?  Do I need exim??

You do if you're going to use fetchmail, at the very least set up to
accept mail for local users.  (There's an option in eximconfig for
this, which asks very few questions afterwards.)


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